Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Post-Holiday Movie Commentary

Quick movie "reviews" from the holiday season:

King Kong
I was blown away by this one, in spite of its length and my skepticism (Jack Black?). As a stinking LOTR fanboy, I saw Peter Jackson's footprints all over this movie, but it didn't bother me overly. What really blew me away, though, was how real Kong felt, especially in his interactions with people. That took it from "great action flick" to something higher, which is more than I was expecting. I think the single best scene in the whole movie was when Kong finally finds Ann in NYC, and they go to Central Park. Seeing them together, knowing what was coming next ... it was movie magic. Sure, the fight between Kong and the T-Rexes was amazing, but the real winning moment came much later in the movie.

I'll take Mainstream PG-13 Romantic Comedies for $300, Alex. I have nothing against formula movies, but honestly this is a formula that just doesn't do it for me any more. Jess wanted to watch it, and I sat through it the best I could. Sure, it had some genuine laugh-out-loud moments but so does your average 30-minute sitcom, and I don't watch them either. Given the awkwardness with which the two storylines came together, and the inconsistencies in the title character, it's hard to give this movie any kind of respect. Move along, there's nothing to see here.

I Heart Huckabees
Now this is an unusual comedy. This movie, clearly, is not for everyone. As often as I was laughing, it was usually at the absurdity of the story and characters. Think of a movie as weird as Magnolia or Vanilla Sky, but much less "polish" and strict comedy instead of drama, and I think you've sort of described this one. In many ways it reminded me of a slightly-higher-brow Big Lebowski, and not just because of the Nihilists. I can't really explain why. I think maybe a third of the times I laughed watching this movie, it was because I knew how much fun I was having and how little Jess was enjoying it. It was like a little comedic revenge for making me watch Hitch, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

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